Monday, October 1, 2007

Adobe's leads in software platform for thin-client apps

I've tested a lot of webOS / Web Office platforms (e.g. Goowy, DesktopTwo, Google Office, etc...). Within each of those platforms are many (mini) applications. Most of the applications are not very good, compared to desktop apps, but those that don't suck all have one thing in common: They're written in Adobe's Flash. (BTW, all of these that try to make it look like you have a desktop within a browser window are just silly, and are using a whole lot of code to get this silly effect... the browser already does a good job of running many apps within a desktop AND have the further benefit of being able to interact with the real desktop)

Today Adobe announced that they were acquiring Virtual Ubiquity, maker of buzzword. Buzzword is a word processor written in flash 9. Buzzword is a great word processor (the first web-based word processor I can say that about), downloads (and updates) immediately from the web (and with AIR will be standalone), integrates with the desktop, and is fast. Furthermore, buzzword is one of the first attempts in years to make a word processor that is not simply a copy of MS Word.

Adobe has Flash, the best technology for delivering web apps. It is working on AIR to make those also be desktop apps. They're pushing out their document sharing services. And AIR. And music players.

Google has Google Office, which are many apps that are, eh... good enough. (Google should get out of the DHTML-only mindset.)

Microsoft has lots of Office users, but is still only promising to make those apps "pushable" and to simplify file sharing. (MS should improve downloadability and sharing of their office applications.)

Lots of WebOS makers are trying... hoping to be acquired by one of those.

And the winner is: At this point, Adobe is in the lead.

P.S. I've nearly forgotten about this blog for a few months. Sheesh. If the "Last Computer" topic interests you then take a look at Read/WriteWeb. That blogger is way more active than I am.